You SHOULDN’T Have Left the Life House

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Last updated: April 19, 2023

One idle weekend, I had a real desire for a movie and snacks. The movie had to be scary. Not B-grade or cheese-grade. The movie had to be better than your average grade. Sadly, it seems I am alone when it comes to watching films in this genre. No one else likes it but my spouse gave in due to some architecture. Or so it seemed. LOL.

I scroll through the catalog of stale releases. Seen this. Not this. Meh. Oh, I find one! It has a central star. The celebrity is an architectural masterpiece called the Life House. It’s an architectural beauty.

The movie I select is called, “YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT“. It’s with Kevin Bacon. He decides to visit the Life House in the film. I haven’t Kevin in a film for quite some time. According to the celeb news, this is his first screen film in four years. He did star in a made-for-TV movie a couple of years back. Poor guy. He’s aged but he’s a favorite.

Table of Contents

  1. You Should NOT Have Left…REALLY.
  2. What Else Do We Know About John Pawson?
  3. What Do We Know About the Life House?
  4. What is the Meaning of the Life House?
  5. Planning a Visit?

Here’s a trailer for the film if you haven’t seen it.

Universal Pictures: You Should Have Left (Official Trailer)

The film was made on a $4m budget, has a simple storyline about redemption, and isn’t that bad. Planned for release in June 2020, the COVID19 pandemic stalled general release. The movie ended up on streaming services for $4.99 to $6.99 depending on the streaming provider. used to share box office sales data for free but this is a Pro subscription feature. Given the pandemic at the time of this writing, it likely didn’t do well.

The movie was worth the eye candy for all the set pieces which are built around the Life House.

You Should NOT Have Left…REALLY.

I fell in love with The Life House during the film! The minimalism, clean lines, interior design, and furniture sets were hard to ignore.

Interior living space at the Life House in Wales, UK
Photo credit: © Jack Hobhouse

Why would you want to leave a nice, clean home in the middle of nowhere just because you saw a ghost? OK, we know that’s film-making. The actual Life House is a real retreat for life, body, and soul.

Who designed the Life House? John Pawson, a famed British Architect. His mind and hands have created many other masterpieces like the Barbican Apartment (London), or the Valextra Store, and the magical Farini Bakery & Cafe in Milan, Italy. He also designed the mythical Paros House I, II, and III in Paros, Greece. Beautiful. We also love his super clean and refined Okinawa House in Okinawa, Japan.

You can learn more about John Pawson’s view on minimalism and architecture in this amazing Design Talks session (20min).

What Else Do We Know About John Pawson?

Born in 1949, he grew up in Halifax, Yorkshire. As of 2016, Halifax had a population of 403,131 with 316,701 concentrated near Halifax Harbour.

John left his family’s textile business and moved to Japan. By the end of his time in Japan, he lived in Tokyo.

This would lead to opportunity. He would meet Shiro Kuramata, a Japanese architect. Japan’s influence on minimalism and simplicity would influence him.

Upon returning to England, he joined the Architectural Association in London. John would go on to establish his own studio in 1981.

One of his major creations — the Life House — is a demonstration of simplicity, light, space, and materials. Everything appears clean, orderly, natural. From the bricks, wood, and flooring materials used.

Communal living space and dining room with table, kitchen top , coffee machine and large open windows
Photo credit: © Jack Hobhouse

What Do We Know About the Life House?

Completed in 2016, the Life House rests on a plot that is nearly four acres and spans 2766 square feet. The Life House is located in a remote, rural setting near Llanbister, Wales.

The Life House has a polished terrazzo floor. What is terrazzo? You’ve likely seen these floors in 1970s architecture or even on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. It is a composite material and chips of marble, quartz, glass, and granite. The material is finalized with a physical and chemical bonding.

The Life House Llanbister, Wales
Photo credit: © Jack Hobhouse

The Life House has a large footprint of 2766 square feet. Furniture and ceilings are made with Douglas Fir timber. The building also displays beautiful brick construction. The bricks construction is made with over 80,000 “handmade” Danish bricks.

The Life House has a zinc roof! Zinc helps limit corrosion and is self-healing. If scratched, it can heal or recover over time. Compared to metal roofing, a zinc roof has low maintenance requirements.

What is the Meaning of the Life House?

It’s a symbol of reflection. Self-reflection and calm. The Life House is an opportunity for retreat visitors to wash away their senses with an overwhelming calm, mental clarity, and focus. It is for meditation, reflection, and stillness.

The Life House’s clean lines, simple bricks, and expanded windows help the landscape and outdoor light to flood inside the residence.

The Life House is located in the Welsh countryside to the ultimate spa retreat and relaxation.
Photo credit: © Jack Hobhouse

On Google Maps, the Life House is in a very remote location. In “You Should Have Left”, the Life House reminded me of a spa and getaway retreat. All rooms, while modern and minimal, give off a monastery-like feeling; a place to meditate, to think, to retreat, and to rejuvenate.

To our surprise, the Life House can be rented for your next getaway retreat. We live in a noisy world and the Life House is a symbol for rest, recovery, and thought.

The Life House in Llanbister, Wales
Photo credit: © Jack Hobhouse

Life House’s design is peaceful and calming. There is an indoor contemplation chamber. In the chamber, you can sit, think, lay down, or listen. Like similar mid-century architectural blueprints, the roof panel retracts to reveal the sky, allowing outdoor light to come in. At night, it becomes your personal night sky room, allowing you to slip into the surly bonds of space filled with a starry sky.

Three bedrooms serve different functional activities like reading, bathing, and listening.

Life House’s communal areas serve one purpose. Gathering/ Like Mid-Century Palm Springs homes, various open spaces connect to one central space. At the Life House, the kitchen, dining, and living room connect naturally. A well-placed wood-burning stove provides warmth and acts as a beautiful feature for the surrounding areas.

A wood burning stove at the Life House provides a rustic, warm and relaxing feel for the senses.  The ultimate retreat for mind, body and soul.
Photo credit: © Jack Hobhouse

A second contemplation area in the Life House allows you to sit, reflect and enjoy deep views into the valley.

Planning a Visit?

The Life House in the Welsh Countryside is perfect for walking, hiking, biking, running and many other activities.
Photo credit: © Jack Hobhouse

The Life House sleeps, six people. This is a perfect opportunity for a family or group of friends to get away, breathe in-country fresh air, and enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, golf, horseback, walking, hiking, or cycling.

You can find booking information at Living Architecture.

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